Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,186 pages of information and 245,641 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Holtzapffel and Co

From Graces Guide
September 1908. Second-hand Lathes.
1928. Model of Mixed Traffic Locomotive.

of Charing Cross and Longacre

Formerly Holtzapffel and Deyerlein.

1826 John George Deyerlein died; Charles Holtzapffel joined his father John Jacob Holtzapffel in the business

1827 The company became Holtzapffel and Co

1827 Advertisement. 'Holtzapffel and Co - 64 Charing Cross, beg to inform Mechanical Amateurs, Merchants, and the Trade, that they have now ready for inspection a variety of Turning Lathes, Rose Engines, Lapidary Machines, Portable Forges, Joiners arid other Work Benches, Tool Chests for Carpenters, Bookbinders, Turners, Watchmakers, and various others. Dressing Cases in great variety; Cutlery in all its branches, of the best steel, and warranted. Dealers in Ivory and Foreign Woods. - For Catalogues, with prices, apply to 64 Charing Cross. '[1]

c1828 Joseph Whitworth joined the company for a short period

1835 John Jacob Holtzapffel died.

1836 William Muir joined the company for a short period

1841 Listed as 'Holtzapffel and Co, manufacturers of engines, lathes, edge tools and cutlery, 64 Charing Cross (manufactory at 127 Long Acre)'[2]

1848 Charles Holtzapffel died and the firm was then run by his wife Amelia for many years

1851 Lathe and Tool Makers employing 48 men and ? boys.[3]

1851 Exhibited at the Great Exhibition - Holtzapffel and Co: 1851 Great Exhibition

1852 Lathe chucks [4]

1853 Apparatus for ornamental turning (Charles Holtzapffel and Co).[5]

1853 On a new system of gauges.[6]

1861 Employing 34 men and 2 boys.[7]

1881 Lathe and Tool Maker employing 30 men and 2 boys.[8]

1885 Gold medal for turning, carving, etc, in wood and ivory.

1909 Mirrorlaughs. 'Messrs. Holtzapffel and Co., 53, Haymarket, London, S.W., have just brought out an amusing game called "Mirrorlaughs." It is an innocent-looking apparatus consisting of a book of many blank pages with a flap containing a mirror. The glass is stood nearly at right angles to the book, and a loose flap held in the performer's left hand in such position that he cannot see the blank page except in the mirror. With his eyes fixed on the looking glass the intrepid artist proceeds to do his best to draw an envelope, starting from a marked spot the right hand corner, and forming first the square, and then the naps. The result in a great majority of instances is startling, even amazing, and well calculated to arouse intense amusement amongst the onlookers. In the spirit of what may be termed a refined sort of cruelty the "artist" is still further required sign his name while gazing the mirror, and here again unexpected developments are likely to occur. One can well imagine that this will prove a very popular game at Christmas time, for its apparent simplicity disarms suspicion, and only those who actually attempt the feat will be aware of what is likely to happen to them in looking: through a glass darkly.'[9]

1915 Listed under Lathe and Tool Makers as 'Holtzapffel and Co, 53 Haymarket SW (late of 64 Charing Cross SW) and Eglon Mews, Berkeley Road, Regent's Park Road, NW. Also George William Holtzapffel at 83 King Henry's Road, Hampstead. [10]

1928 The company closed

Note from a correspondent:

1928 is shown as the year in which the company closed. However, I have found information online both in a deposition of 4 volumes about the company at Edinburgh University Library, and information in a blog/website

Both sources indicate that the company lasted as a manufacturer until 1938. Their offices may have existed until 1956, at 61, Baker Street.

My assumption is that they were probably sales agents for turned ornamental articles or to promote inventions etc. Charles Holtzapffel was quite creative with the design of precision scales and dividing machines, as well as a glass etching machine and a machine for printing banknotes.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Examiner - Sunday 02 December 1827
  2. 1841 Post Office London Directory
  3. 1851 Census
  4. The Imperial Journal 1852 Volume II. p25
  5. The Imperial Journal 1853 Volume II. p295
  6. The Imperial Journal 1853 Volume III. p357
  7. 1861 Census
  8. 1881 Census
  9. Lichfield Mercury - Friday 03 December 1909
  10. 1915 Post Office London Directory